• Kristen Nice

Overdue for Some Me Time

I was having one of those days. One of those days where the morning was long and the afternoon was shaping up to be even longer. The days when I work at the office have a strange combination of random in person interaction sandwiched between Zoom meetings with the same faces, each in our little rooms.


It's rare that I am successful at stepping away for lunch when I'm at the office. But on this day I had to run an errand during the lunch hour. I ran my errand and stopped to get gas so that I wouldn't have to interrupt the commute home.


I have a new (to me) car (her name is Audrey) and decided to treat her to a drive through car wash. I punched in the purchase code, turned off the radio, and followed flashing light and directive robot voice, came to a stop in the short tunnel. The sun was bright outside, and the shadowy light of the car wash was soothing. And then that first spray of soap enveloped the windshield. For a few seconds it was dark, silent, with soft wispy suds surrounding my safe little bubble. My nervous system instantly settled. I had no idea how much tension I was carrying until the quiet, soft, darkness embraced me. As the car gently shimmied and rocked, I listened to the pattering of the rag mop like brushes against the windows and roof. It was like that most welcome, soothing hug from your very favorite person. Through the shifting view of suds to rinse, I watched the silhouettes of the doves perched on the rack above that the held the dryers, strutting and chattering.


It was the best $7.00 I've spent in a long time.


Better than the habitual fancy beverage I tell myself I "earned" or "needed." Or the salt, sweets, or binge of streaming videos I use the same tired argument for. It was simple, it was quiet, and it represented clearing away the grim and the noise I was carrying around from the day.


We often don't take time for ourselves. Or if we do, it's not the right kind of time. We need activities that help to clear us, not clutter our already cluttered minds and lives.


There's times when I get on my mat regularly and there's times when it's a struggle. Then there's the times that I tell myself it's not worth it unless I can spend xx amount of time, or practice a certain way.


And then there's the times when I recognize that just a posture or two, a couple breaths, maybe I don't even bother with the mat...simply being in tune with my body and breath can rinse away the build up of tension.


And sometimes it's a car wash.


We should honor those things that give us comfort. Even if they seem odd or out of ordinary. When our nervous system needs soothing, it knows what it wants.


So, what's your car wash?


"Sometimes it's OK if the only thing you did today was breathe."

~ Yumi Sakugawa ~